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Fatima Dambatta: A petition to make ovarian cancer a global health priority
May 11, 2024, 10:21

Fatima Dambatta: A petition to make ovarian cancer a global health priority

Fatima Dambatta, Medical Programs Manager at Medicaid Cancer Foundation, shared on LinkedIn:

”The first close-up case of Ovarian cancer I witnessed happened to be in a 13-year-old, I do not remember the type now, but I remember that initially it had been thought she had an Ovarian cyst, I remember her Surgeries and her pain.

Globally, 324,000 women are diagnosed with Ovarian cancer every year, and about 207,000 diagnosed women die from it, over half of the women diagnosed.

Ovarian cancer is the 6th most common cancer in Nigerian women and the 2nd most common Gynaecological cancer.

Ovarian cancer is said to be a disease of older women, typically affecting women aged 55 or older.However, several studies have shown evidence of cases in much younger women. In 2017, a team at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, in Nigeria, carried out a study to analyze the cases of Ovarian Cancer cases that presented to the Hospital in the decade before the study and they discovered that the majority 25.6% of the women were aged between 41-50 years while about 16.7% were aged between 11-20.

Ovarian cancer is a perculiar one for several reasons.

  • First, it does not have standardized screening tests to detect pre-cancerous stages like Breast or Cervical cancer, and as such it is typically diagnosed at advanced stages.
  • Secondly, perhaps even more than other cancers, the symptoms of Ovarian cancer show up late and are often non-specific, symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, early satiety, constipation, weight loss, and irregular vaginal bleeding could all be attributed to several other conditions.
  • Lastly, I will say, there is a lack of Government attention both locally and globally.

All of these reasons are WHY we must do do a lot more so Ovarian cancer does not become ‘the neglected sister’ to its counterparts of Breast and Cervical cancer.

Ovarian cancer survival rates are much lower than other female-related cancers.

Take a minute to sign this petition, to make Ovarian cancer a Global health priority ensuring that no woman is left behind.”

Fatima Dambatta

Source: Fatima Dambatta/LinkedIn